Written by Raven Smith
Photos from Wikipedia Commons
With the release of the two next-generation consoles, the Xbox One and PS4, last fall, we’ve seen a new era in gaming. The next-generation consoles boast higher frame-rates, higher resolution and more RAM, all of which means more processing power. But while we may see graphically superior gaming, these consoles focus on two very different styles of gaming.
The Xbox One by Microsoft begs to be used in a social setting. With features like the Kinect, voice recognition and a wide variety of multiplayer functions, this console focuses on a collaborative gaming experience. In contrast, Sony’s PlayStation focused more of its hardware toward better graphics and processing systems, producing more visually stunning games, but almost all PS3 and PS4 exclusive games released in the past few years have been focused more on the single player experience. They are two very different consoles and deliver very different gaming experiences, but which is the better console?
Microsoft is a company based in Redmond, Wash. Founded in 1975, it has produced solid products for the past four decades. They have produced some of the most popular operating systems since the beginning of computers. Understandably, when Microsoft joined the console game in 2001, their system was highly anticipated. The Xbox 360 was the first HD console system. Released in 2005, it rang in a new era of gaming.
The Xbox has always striven to deliver a social gaming experience for the player. Microsoft’s first “Halo” game featured 16 multiplayer modes even before Xbox Live — the online networking system — was released. While locally connecting four different Xboxes to each other to achieve this mode was difficult, Microsoft tried to work toward a collaborative gaming environment from the very beginning.
Sony, on the other hand, is a Japanese electronics company founded after WWII. Its first console — the original PlayStation — was released in 1994. The PlayStation 2 was released in 2000, and it is the highest selling console of all time. The PS3 was released in 2006, and with it came Blu-ray. Blu-ray discs hold more information than their DVD predecessors and support HD graphics. While the Xbox 360 beat the PlayStation to the new console, the PS3 had better graphics, thanks to Blu-ray capability.
The PS3 and Xbox 360 were released in 2005-6, meaning there was about a seven year gap between consoles. Graphics alone advanced phenomenally during this time. With the new consoles and almost every TV screen featuring HD output, we’re seeing super crisp games. Both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 sold around 80 million units, making it hard to determine which company was the clear winner, but with the release of the next-generation consoles the competition begins anew, but which console will appeal more to the buyer?
The Xbox One is a console that focuses on being a fully-rounded living room entertainment system, from voice detection to the kinect, which is able to register more than person at the same time. The Xbox one is a console that aims to be the standalone system attached to your TV, and something to use with your friends. Using the voice recognition with other people in the room turns into a whole new experience; there’s nothing like trying to play Futurama on Netflix and having everyone yelling at the Xbox One at the same time.
The Sony Playstation, in contrast, is focused toward a more solo gaming experience. The Playstation lacks the additional features that the Xbox One has, choosing instead to dedicate their console towards better graphics and processing hardware, and while this does shave $100 off the retail price, it’s nowhere near as amusing to present to your friends.
The Playstation also boasts a large number of exclusive games, such as the beautiful and deep games “The Last of Us” and “Nino no Kuni.” These games, however, are solo gaming experiences. Though they are arguably fantastic games, their core focus is on a single player story mode. If we look at Xbox One exclusive games like Titanfall, the core experience is one of multiplayer action.
From the console hardware to the games found on each, it’s clear that both Sony and Microsoft are aiming toward two different gaming experiences. These consoles have two very different strengths, the Xbox One’s coming from being a fully rounded entertainment system that features multiplayer capabilities and Sony’s PS4 focusing more on graphics, visuals and the solo gaming experience. Each console appeals to a different type of gamer, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.